Celoxica's C-based ESL Tools Power Drive-by-Wire Automotive System

7/12/2005 - Celoxica Ltd., Calsonic Kansei Corp. and researchers at Keio University announced that they have co-developed a new drive-by-wire automotive system to dramatically reduce traffic accidents and gridlock on crowded freeways. The system was designed with Celoxica's industry-leading, C-based electronic system level (ESL) design and synthesis solutions for use in on-board automotive intelligent transportation systems (ITS).

The system captures and identifies a vehicle in real-time with more than double the performance, inherent adaptability and with lower power consumption than similar previous systems. Using license-plate recognition to calculate driving criteria such as distance and position the system allows the driver to maintain a safe distance from a car in front to reduce "tail-gating," and rear-end collisions. The ultimate use of the technology is the possibility of autopiloting the car with the flick of a switch. Once the majority of the cars in the world are so equipped, traffic will flow smoother, faster with fewer accidents and reduce automotive care and insurance costs.

"Our C-based design and synthesis technology is unlocking the potential of lower power, flexible FPGAs for next generation automotive electronics," said Colin Mason, VP Asia Pacific, general manager and representative director, Celoxica Japan K.K. "C-based design is now the de facto enabling technology for rapidly accelerating complex custom algorithms in high performance silicon."

Recognition systems typically rely on sophisticated image processing algorithms running on high-end processors linked to a camera. However the on-board, or in-car, constraints set by the project such as power consumption, heat and space meant a processor -based solution was impractical and due to rapidly changing standards in ITS, custom ASIC was too expensive and inflexible. The end solution was FPGA based with the algorithm parallelization, acceleration and implementation made possible using the Celoxica DK Design Suite. Connected to a car mounted CCD (charge-coupled device) camera, total processing time that included intensity conversion and color sorting was reduced form 21.56ms to only 10.0ms.

"Applying recognition processing into automobiles requires low to medium volume, low power and rapid design to support the wide variety of chip types needed to meet the characteristics of different cars," said Mr. Masatoshi Arai, manager, Advanced Engineering Development Group, Calsonic Kansei Corp. "To meet these requirements FPGAs are a better choice than ASIC and the DK Design Suite provided a distinct advantage by helping us to quickly design and implement the different design parameters needed by the project."

"The automotive industry is seeing an explosion in the number of electronic devices and solutions needed to meet customer demand, expectations and safety regulations. Because of the complexity involved and the unique constraints of in-car electronics it is critical that designers can quickly exploit the potential of FPGAs and low-power, high-performance flexible hardware," said, Professor Hideharu Amano, Keio University. "Our research demonstrates that by combining parallel reconfigurable architectures with design entry and implementation that is above RTL, existing automotive designers can move into new silicon paradigms and quickly implement systems that out perform traditional solutions in terms of power, performance and time to market."

About Celoxica
An innovator in Electronic System Level (ESL) design, Celoxica is turning software into silicon by supplying the design tools, boards, IP and services that enable the next generation of advanced electronic product design. Celoxica technology raises design abstraction to the algorithm level, accelerating productivity and lowering risk and costs by generating semiconductor hardware directly from C-based software descriptions. Adding to a growing installed base, Celoxica provides the world's most widely used C-based behavioral design and synthesis solutions to companies developing semiconductor products in markets such as consumer electronics, defense and aerospace, automotive, industrial and security. For more information, visit: www.celoxica.com.

About Calsonic Kansei Corp.
Founded in 1938, Calsonic is expected by automobile manufacturers around the world to respond to their policy of the optimum global sourcing, which requires suppliers to provide a timely supply of attractive products of the globally uniform quality and cost levels. Calsonic Kansei Corp. is meeting such customers' needs by offering module products to every market of the world with the backing of its superb development and production engineering capabilities. We are determined to develop Calsonic Kansei Corp to the No.1 module supplier in the world that is excellent in making speedy and creative presentations to customers by further advancing its total capabilities of development and production as well as expanding globalization in every sphere of its operations. For more information visit www.calsonickansei.co.jp/english/index.html

About Keio University
Keio has a proud history as Japan's very first private institution of higher learning, which dates back to the formation of a school for Dutch studies in 1858 by founder Yukichi Fukuzawa. Since the school's inception, the students of Keio have risen to the forefront of innovation in every imaginable academic field, emerging as social and economic leaders. Keio University is involved in a wide range of activities beyond its academic faculties, including the running of several research laboratories and attached facilities, and participation in unique research and development involving the cooperation of industry, government, and academia both in Japan and abroad. For more information visit www.keio.ac.jp/index-en.html

Celoxica and the Celoxica logo are trademarks of Celoxica, Ltd.

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